A short video titled "Why Tess is recording the "sounds of stars" at the bottom of the page of the BBC News article Planet-hunter launches from Florida gives a short description of Asteroseismology by Astronomer Bill Chaplin of the University of Birmingham.

Presumably the sounds played here are some kind of photometric measurements of stars that have been played back a few orders of magnitude faster to make them audible.

I'd like to listen to more of them, or even download a .wav or similar file and have a look at the spectrum just for fun.

I managed to find this University of Birmingham website through searching, and it plays sound clips from four different stars when the cursor is hovered over each one (it takes a while to become responsive I assume due to downloading).


  1. Roughly how long is the observation time of the star necessary to produce these audio recordings of a few seconds in length?

  2. Where can I find downloadable data; either these .wav sound clips or more traditional raw data files that I could analyze?

BBC Bill Chaplin U Birmingham

U Birmingham M4 Star Sounds

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Not an answer, but if you're looking for asteroseismic data, this can also be extracted from exoplanet transit data, as both methods just look at stellar light for a long time with high cadence. So the CoRoT, Kepler mission and HAT, Wasp, etc. telescope archives should provide you with a wealth of data.. $\endgroup$ Apr 19 '18 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @AtmosphericPrisonEscape Thanks for your suggestion. I had no idea this type of data was so widespread. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 19 '18 at 22:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.